One of the elements that's made Shazam (previously known as Captain Marvel) such an enduring superhero over the decades is the fact that his civilian identity is Billy Batson, an adolescent. A lot of kids imagine being a superhero, so Billy being able to transform into the adult Shazam is the ultimate wish fulfillment. The character is finally making his big screen debut next year in (you guessed it) Shazam!, and while the movie's tone may be different than earlier DC Extended Universe movies, rest assured that it will take place in the same continuity. The latest Shazam! picture hammers this point home, as there are numerous references to Superman and Batman.

This is our first look at Asher Angel's Billy Batson in Shazam!, where he's seen holding a bag containing a crushed bullet that has a certificate of authentication. Judging by the Superman ball cap, the Superman cups, the TIME magazine cover showing Superman and the Daily Planet newspaper clipping about Superman's return, it's easy enough to deduce that the bullet is one that struck the Man of Steel, hence why it's certified to be legit. As for Batman, not only is there a figurine of the Gotham City vigilante on display, there's also a genuine Batarang that belonged to the Dark Knight on display. However, it's not Billy who's the Batman, Superman and all-around Justice League fanboy, but rather Jack Dylan Grazer's Freddy Freeman, the other kid in the picture. So you can imagine how Freddy will react when he learns that his new friend Billy can turn into a superhero.

Along with providing this picture, EW spoke with Asher Angel about his version of Billy Batson in Shazam! Like his comic book counterpart, Billy's parents died when he was young, making growing up especially difficult. Angel explained:

He's misunderstood, he's mischievous, he's been a foster kid since he was 5 years old and really has no one to trust.

While the Shazam! movie is pulling from various eras of the hero's history, the main story looks like it's mainly inspired by Shazam's New 52 origin story, namely by how Billy Batson is sent to live with a foster family that includes Freddy, Grace Fulton's Mary Bromfield, Ian Chen's Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand's Pedro Peña and Faithe Herman's Darla Dudley. That's a big change for any kid, but for Billy, that's just the tip of the iceberg. After his encounter with the mysterious Wizard, Billy will be able thetotransform into Shazam, the World's Mightiest Mortal, but he won't have long to master his special powers, as he'll soon face off against the sinister Doctor Thaddeus Sivana.

Shazam! will work its magic in theaters on April 5, 2019. In the meantime, don't forget to look through our DC movies guide to learn what other DCEU projects are in development.

 

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